In a parent-child relationship, parents have basic duties and rights, which dictate how a child is raised. However, these rights can be revoked if a parent violates the law or does not act in the best interest of the child. If you are facing an involuntary termination of parental rights, the lawyers at Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP in Walnut Creek and Stockton, CA, can help. Each named partner has been practicing for over 20 years and has developed a profound understanding of family law. We take the time to carefully evaluate each case and understand our clients' goals in order to protect their rights and futures. We invite you to contact us today to discuss your case in more detail.
What Parental Rights Are Terminated?
If your parental rights are terminated, you lose the ability to make any decisions regarding your child’s upbringing, including but not limited to their education, religion, discipline, and health care. You also forfeit the ability to control earnings and property your child may receive. In addition, your visitation rights are revoked, as is your ability to communicate with your child.
Circumstances Under Which Parental Rights Are Terminated
Parental rights can be terminated voluntarily or involuntarily. Parents may voluntarily seek to relinquish their parental responsibilities in the case of adoption or other "good cause." Involuntary termination of rights occurs when parental rights are ended against a parent's wishes. Involuntary termination can be pursued if:
- The child has been willfully abandoned
- The child suffers abuse
- The non-custodial parent is in prison
One parent can seek to sever the rights of another, if for example, the other suffers from mental illness due to drugs or alcohol. The state can also revoke a parent's rights if it is in the best interest of the child. It is important to note that the termination of parental rights also relieves the ex-parent of child support obligations.
If your parental rights are terminated, you lose the ability to make any decisions regarding your child’s upbringing, including but not limited to their education, religion, discipline, and health care.
In general, California courts emphasize the importance of the parent-child relationship. Having a relationship with both parents is typically in the best interest of the child, except in the case of notable exceptions.
How We Can Help
Whether the other parent or the courts have petitioned to terminate your parental rights, you need a skilled attorney on your side. Our team can help you to understand your rights and advocate diligently on your behalf. Together, we can present evidence to disprove any allegations against you, or demonstrate that you are working to make better lifestyle choices with the help of counseling or other programs. If necessary, we can also recommend alternatives, such as supervised visitation, so you can remain a part of your child’s life.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are at risk of having your parental rights involuntarily terminated, you deserve an attorney who understands the resulting impact on your quality of life. At Shore, McKinley, Conger & Jolley, LLP, our family law attorneys are ready to defend your rights. Contact our legal team online or at (209) 477-8171 today to schedule your consultation.